Acupunture & TCM

What is Acupuncture, and how does it work?

In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by an imbalance of Yin and Yang. This can result in a disruption of the flow of Qi (energie), in the body.  A healthy flow of Qi is necessary to stimulate an optimal blood flow to all the tissues in our body. Acupuncture needles stimulates particular points under the skin where Qi travels through energy pathways called meridians. Through hundreds of years of observation, Chinese doctors have been able to link certain points of our bodies to our internal organs, and our mental wellbeing.

On a physiological level, one major hypothesis is that acupuncture works through neuro-hormonal pathways. Basically, the needle stimulates the nerve, and the nerve sends signals to the brain, which releases neural hormones such as beta-Endorphins. These hormones are known to decrease stress levels, inflammatory reactions, and pain.    

Which type of Acupuncture do I apply?

Traditional Acupuncture

Scalp Needling

7 Star Needling

Ear Acupuncture

Dr Tan's Balancing Method

Electro Acupuncture

Other TCM treatments that I apply

  • Cupping
  • Smokeless Moxibustion
  • Blood Letting
  • Gua Sha/ Scraping
  • Tuina/ Acupressure and Meridian Massage

Other TCM modalities

7 Star Needling

When blood flow is decreased in a muscle or under the skin, toxins created by the body are unable to be expelled, and the affected tissue is unable to get nutrition from the blood. This usually results in tightness and pain. This particular tool contains 7 small needles. They are gently tapped in areas where there has been a significant decrease of blood flow, for example on painful knots in the muscle. The skin will start to bleed, and the toxins will find there way out rapidly. This is a very effective technique that often gives a direct relief in symptoms.


Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which local suction is applied to the skin and muscles by applying glass cups to particular areas of the body.  By quickly adding and removing fire to the inside of the cup, oxygen is removed and a small amount of  suction is created by the air cooling down again. Cupping is known to aid detoxification, improve blood and energy flow, remove dampness, heat, and has the effect of relaxing tension in the muscles. 

Smokeless Moxibustion

This method has been used for over 3000 years in Asia, and Europe. The burning stick is filled with a powerful herb called Mugwort, which is known to create heat that can enter the body deeply without burning the patient (when used correctly). This heat can be directed on acupuncture points, and is perfect for children, or people who are affraid of needles. It is also used as an addition to acupuncture, to strengthen the effects of the treatment. The mugwort can warm the body, increase blood flow, create relaxation, and increase overall energy. 


Bloodletting can be done through a single needle, but also in combination with cupping and the 7 Star Needle. This technique can be used to rapidly remove toxins and heat from the body. Except from an initial sting, the technique is not experienced as painful, yet an effective way to remove blockages, decrease pain and tension, and expel unwanted muscular soreness.

Gua Sha / Scraping

Gua Sha is the therapeutic use of friction applied with a blunt edged of a hand tool to the skin, either over muscle tissues, joints, or specific meridian pathways.

 Gua Sha encourages circulation of blood, the lymphatic system, Qi, and the removal of metabolic waste in the skin and superficial muscle tissues. It can also be effective when used to enhance the immune response when fighting colds & flu. 


Tuina is a massage that follows the guidelines of Chinese Medicine. It is applied along the meridians or directly on the acupuncture points. A variety of pressing, shaking, pinching, flicking, and rolling, is used to activate the acupuncture points. Some practitioners believe that the effects of Tuina can be even more powerful than acupuncture for certain cases. It is a perfect replacement for acupuncture, when there is a fear of needles, or treatments of children.